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Developing joy in learning Tamil Language

11 Aug 2017


Primary 1 students having fun with kites at the park. The activity is part of Tamil Language classes. (Photo: Compassvale Primary School)

At Compassvale Primary School, students head outdoors for hands-on activities during Tamil Language lessons.

Lessons come alive and it’s full of fun over at Compassvale Primary School! The Primary 1 students go to the park during lesson time to learn about plant and animal life, and to fashion trees and make kites from a variety of materials. 

This however, is not an art or science lesson – it is part of the school’s Tamil at the Park (T@P) programme activities to encourage students to find joy in the learning of the mother tongue language.

Besides these hands-on activities, the students also get the opportunity to share with classmates and teachers their knowledge about plants and their craft ideas. These interactions are for them to learn new Tamil vocabulary such as “kite” and “tree”, and apply them in their conversations with peers and teachers. 

“These activities facilitate exploration, imagination and most importantly, encourages the use of Tamil Language with ease,” explains Mrs Saroja Devi Jaganathan, senior teacher at Compassvale Primary School. 

Besides heading outdoors for Tamil Language lessons, Primary 1 students also get an opportunity to participate in show-and-tell in the classroom. 

Students take turns to share with the class their thoughts on topics such as their families or their favourite fruit. The teachers would guide the students in areas such as intonation and articulation, and peers are encouraged to offer feedback on the presentations. 

The objective of the show-and-tell segment in class is to build students’ confidence in public speaking, as well as to hone their use of spoken Tamil language and listening skills. 

“Students have become more confident, expressive and independent learners,” says Mrs Jaganathan. “For instance, students were able to work on their own in the kite-making activity, after reading the instructions.”

Parents have also expressed support for the initiatives as the students were enthusiastic in recounting their lesson experience and they became more articulate in Tamil Language. “The parents also felt that T@P fostered parent-child bonding, as they could work with their children at home to complete the craft work from the lesson,” says Mrs Jaganathan.

Meanwhile, students have also enjoyed themselves immensely in class, and look forward to putting their Tamil language skills to use. “We can come to the front of the class to talk!” enthuses Primary 1 student Karthi Riya.